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Cambridge Particles Meeting – a quick review

May 2011

I attended the Cambridge Particles meeting for the first time, held in the Engineering Department of Cambridge University on Friday 13th May 2011.  I didn’t know what to expect, but the meeting had a friendly academic atmosphere, with scientists and technicians present having a range of interests in aerosol science, although as exhibited by the presentation titles, vehicle emissions were the significant focus.  In addition it is worth mentioning that the meeting was free to attend, one of the very few that I’m aware of at this quality.

The presentations given at the meeting are listed below, together with my brief personal overview.  Proceedings will be available at a later date if you visit the Cambridge Particle Meeting web page, to see what they were really about!

Adam Boies – University of Cambridge / University of Minnesota – Gas-Phase Production of Core-Shell Nanoparticles by Decoupled Processes

The design and generation of nano-particles for use in medical applications as precise targets for the adsorption of radiated energy e.g. MR, Laser, IR, UV in treatments of disease. Also identified to have some potential for use in other applications such as film coatings to provide catalysis required for fuel cells.  

Simon Payne – University of Cambridge / Johnson Matthey – Visualisation and Monitoring of Diesel Particulate Deposition

Reviewed the blockage process of pores in Diesel Particulate filters using an electron microscope to monitor individually identified pores over the blockage cycle.  Some fantastic images to show diesel particulate forming almost a fibrous plug across ~10um pores and then related to witnessed differential pressures.

Phil Price – Ford – Study of Particle Number Emissions from a Turbo GDI Engine using Fast Response

Euro VI emissions legislation applying to new cars will be coming into force from 2014, and whilst PM emissions with gasoline powered vehicles are not as high as seen with diesel engines, most of which currently require exhaust particulate filtration to reduce PM levels to the ever tightening regulated limits, new targets are still a challenge.  This presentation gave an interesting review of some work at Ford to identify the modes of particulate formation during the standard driving cycle, highlighting the complex engine management and control systems of today that look after the system optimising all parameters.  I still remember the happy days of carburettors and simple flow balancing where performance adjustment came via a screwdriver !!

Alex Charlton – University of Leeds – Particle Characteristics and their Influence on DNA Damage Induced by Exhaust PM Collected from a HD Diesel Engine Using Biofuels

Biofuels – ‘greener’ fuel, but is there a toxicity impact of their soot?  Results of DNA damage assays were presented which appeared to show DNA damage correlation with PAH concs.

Paul Quincey – National Physical Laboratory – Particle Measurement for Ambient Air Regulation: Current and Future Techniques

Paul provided an update for the group on the current developments coming out of ISO TC24  and CEN TC264 working groups including identified work ongoing with WG32 – Air quality – Determination of the particle number concentration and ISO TC24 WG12 development work for ISO/NP 27891 Aerosol particle number concentration — Calibration of condensation particle number counters.

Andrew Smallbone – cmcl innovations / University of Cambridge – Evolution of Particle Size Distribution within the Engine Exhaust and Aftertreatment System

Andrew presented recently modeled data for particle formation from a combustion process, though identifying that experimental verification was yet to be performed.

Roger Watson – University of Cambridge – An Improved Metric for the Sooting Propensity of Fuels

Roger introduced a new measurement metric to improve on the empirical technique whereby a fuel’s smoke point is identified as the maximum height of its laminar flame burning in air at which soot is not released from the flame tip, which has been used for many years as a measure of fuel sooting potential.

Mike Braisher – Jaguar-Land Rover / University of Oxford – A Statistical Method for Particle Number Emissions Measurement Variance Analysis

Mike introduced an approach to improve measurement variance through the use of two separate measurement instruments on the same measurement …… music to an instrument seller’s ears !

John May / Cécile Favre – Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst – Particle Emissions of Powered 2-Wheelers

John provided an entertaining review of testing carried out by AECC for its membership, on a range of two wheeled vehicles (typically scooters / mopeds / bikes etc. but refer to legislator’s definition) which are about to be covered by legislation for emissions.  This work was commissioned to identify how close existing products were to the requirements and what action may be necessary to comply. 

Phil Whitefield / Prem Lobo – Missouri University of Science & Technology – Preliminary Results on PM Emissions from APUs and Tire Smoke Generated by In-Service Commercial Transports

Phil and Prem reported on their project, funded by the Airport Cooperative Research Program
(ACRP 02-17), to measure Aircraft PM emissions from AFU’s and tyres / brakes.  The methodology was reported, but with monitoring still ongoing, data was not yet available for release.

Huayong Zhao – University of Oxford – Measurement of Temperature, Soot Volume Fraction and Particle Size in a Santoro Burner

A new methodology was presented combining Cone Beam Tomography and Three Colour Spectrometry to measure a range of parameters for soot from in a Santoro Burner flame.

David Kittelson – University of Minnesota – Issues Associated with Solid Particle Measurements

David reviewed test data produced using a very wide range of TSI particle measurement equipment examining the impact of the 23nm lower size cut off defined by the PMP and the influence of volatiles and the method of removal.

I’d like to add my thanks to Simon Payne for his organisation, together with Cambridge University Engineering Department and the sponsors, Cambustion Ltd., for the welcome and the catering.

I’d recommend the Cambridge Particle Meeting to anyone with an interest in particle science and look forward to next year’s meeting.